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New Weight-Loss Drug Amycretin Has Patients Losing 13% of Body Weight in Just 3 Months

Novo Nordisk's once-daily pill showed promising results in an early-stage trial.

Summer is getting closer and closer with each passing day, which has many of us kickstarting our diet and workout routines. But while more time in the gym and counting calories may work for some, shedding stubborn pounds can be more difficult for others. That's where weight-loss drugs often come in. Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Ozempic and its sister drug for weight loss, Wegovy, are the biggest names in the space right now—but the company isn't stopping there. During Novo Nordisk's Capital Markets Day on March 7, the company announced data from an early trial of its new weight-loss drug, Amycretin.

RELATED: Certain Foods Trigger Natural Ozempic-Like Weight Loss Effect, Doctor Says.

Study participants who took the investigational drug saw big results after 12 weeks, dropping 13.1 percent of their body weight, BioSpace reported. By comparison, participants who took a placebo dropped just 1.1 percent of their body weight over the same 12-week span. Amycretin also bested Wegovy, as patients dropped just 6 percent of their body weight in a similar three-month trial, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The drug differs from Wegovy because it's a once-daily pill as opposed to an injection, and it targets two hormones instead of one. In addition to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)—the gut hormone that Wegovy targets—Amycretin also targets amylin, a hormone in the pancreas that affects hunger, according to the WSJ.

Safety results were also encouraging, as the phase 1 trial showed that Amycretin was safe and well-tolerated among study participants, BioSpace reported. According to Novo Nordisk, adverse effects were similar to the company's studies of other glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists. Wegovy is known to primarily cause gastrointestinal issues (GI), namely nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and stomach pain.

At the 12-week mark, over 80 percent of participants were still taking Amycretin, which is an "impressive" retention rate, Martin Holst Lange, MD, PhD, executive vice president of development for Novo Nordisk, said in an interview with Reuters.

RELATED: Ozempic Patients Say It "Stops Working" for Weight Loss—How to Prevent That.

Amycretin will continue to be studied in a phase 2 trial in the second half of 2024, company executives told investors yesterday. But while the latest results are exciting, it will be some time before Amycretin is available to patients.

Data from the mid-stage trial won't be released until sometime around 2026, Forbes reported, and after that, regulators will likely want an additional, in-depth trial of safety and efficacy before approving Amycretin. There is also a possibility that the treatment won't show the same results, and Novo Nordisk could also shift focus to other treatments.

However, as of right now, the company is benefiting from Amycretin's stellar performance. After study results were announced, Novo Nordisk shares jumped 8 percent, Reuters reported.

"We believe this data release is the primary driver for the shares," Barclays analysts said in a note, per the WSJ.

Novo Nordisk is also testing amylin in its weight-loss combination therapy CagriSema, which combines semaglutide (the active ingredient in Wegovy and Ozempic) with an amylin analog (a structurally similar drug) called cagrilintide. The treatment is being studied in a phase 3 trial, where it has shown greater weight loss and blood sugar control effects for patients with diabetes than those treated with one drug or the other.

The combination gives patients "more bang for the buck," Lange said, per the WSJ. "That will be a real game-changer."

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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